JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Western Wall belongs to Israel, despite what the United Nations says, Israeli Prime Minister said in interviews with Israel’s three major networks.
"The Western Wall has always been and always will belong to Israel,” Netanyahu said Saturday in pre-election interviews with Israeli channels 1, 2 and 10. "We have resided in the Jewish nation’s capital for 3,000 years. The Western Wall is not occupied territory and I don’t care what the U.N. says about that."
Netanyahu said the announcements of plans to build Jewish housing in the E1 area east of Jerusalem and in other Jerusalem neighborhoods had nothing to do with the upcoming Jan. 22 elections; rather, they were a response to the Palestinians’ decision to appeal to the United Nations General Assembly for enhanced statehood status.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said over the weekend that the Palestinian Authority would stop Netanyahu from authorizing building in the E1 area, which connects the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim to Jerusalem, an area that the Palestinians say is necessary to create an eventual viable, contiguous Palestinian state.
The housing is still in the planning stages and construction is a long way off, according to reports
Abbas called building in E1 “a red line and we will not allow it to happen.” Abbas told the Fatah Advisory Council, “We are holding contacts on all levels to stop this Israeli project that aims to sabotage the peace process,” according to the WAFA Palestine News and Information Agency.